Early Years Teaching Philosophy

Reggio Emilia Approach

The IEYC programme is inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy. A Reggio inspired educational programme, shares the image of a successful child as one who is curious, con dent, competent and well prepared for the future. It also recognizes the importance of the environment to provide learning opportunities for students to investigate, analyse, question, test ideas and take action. Emphasis is placed on the development of collaborative skills, social skills, independence and developing a sense of belonging. Students are encouraged to use language and mediums to investigate, to explore and to re ect on their experiences and provide opportunities for all to learn and explore together.

Our Image of a Child

Children are unique. They are capable, curious and insightful and able to express this in many and varied ways. We value what they have to share and offer and we seek to work together with them, to develop their knowledge, skills and understandings.

The image that we hold of our students is where the teaching and the learning begins for each student. Teachers are deeply aware of a student’s potential and preferred ways of learning. They intentionally plan the learning environment and the activities to meet the aspirations and needs of the students in their class.

At IEYC we view students as:

Play Based Learning

“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.”

O’Fred Donaldson

Play based learning is a teaching approach that is recognized world-wide by leading researchers in the Early Years Education eld to be the most effective way of teaching children in the Early Years.

It is a teaching technique (or approach) where it looks like children are ‘just playing’. However, there is a lot of planning and preparation in making sure that learning is happening while children are playing. To the observer and for the student, it may look like or feel like that it is just fun and games but deep learning is happening concurrently. Within the ‘play’, the teacher has planned and prepared the learning experience towards speci c curriculum (learning) objectives. (Refer to the Curriculum section for the learning objectives we will be using in our teaching).

Play based learning is a necessary element of your child’s learning and development at INNOVA, and will ensure that your child is socially, emotionally, physically and academically ready for further education beyond the Early Years.

The Learning Environment as the ‘Third Teacher’

Learning Environments

Renowned Reggio educator, Loris Malaguzzi highlights the importance of the environment as the ‘third teacher’.

“There are three teachers of children: adults, other children and their physical environment.”

Therefore, at IEYC we use the learning environment (both inside and out of the classroom) to help students understand the connections between knowledge, skills and understandings and therefore build deeper learning.

The IEYC understands the signi cance of the environment as the ‘third teacher’ and its potential to inspire students to investigate. Careful thought and attention is given to the materials, textures, colours, natural light, order and beauty of our spaces. We therefore create an inviting and engaging learning spaces for our students.

The learning spaces encourage working together (collaboration), communication and exploration, and both students and adults take responsibility for the care and cleanliness of the learning spaces.

Our classrooms open onto ‘Piazzas’. These are special spaces which provide busy places for sharing and creating, and displays designed to provoke questions. They are also special spaces lled with books, with quiet places to read alone or with a friend, and for parents to discuss their learning with their children.

Our ‘Kitchen Studio and Maker Space’ is designed as a exible space for students to learn through cooking and design thinking as well as explore science, technology and artistic expression.

Across the road from the IEYC is Boda Park, which provides a rich environment for students to develop an understanding and appreciation of the natural world.

Our playground also includes a garden for students to experiment with planting and growing.

Language Learning

In an increasingly global society, we believe in the importance of students becoming pro cient in more than one language and therefore our instructional programmes provide an emphasis on Chinese and English languages.

The early years is a time of rapid language acquisition. Students must establish a strong foundation in their mother tongue language to ensure they have developed core skills in communication, vocabulary development, syntax and language structure.

Students who spend two or more years at the IEYC can develop the foundation skills that prepare them for pro ciency in English.

The co-teaching model of a foreign teacher teaching with a bi-lingual Chinese teacher means children have access to both Chinese and English at all times and teachers will challenge and scaffold language learning in both languages based on the needs and readiness of each student.

As partners in your child’s learning, we encourage families to celebrate their mother tongue and cultural histories. Parents are invited to share stories, cultural artifacts and family histories to enrich the learning experiences of our youngest students.